Archive for December, 2014


28 December, 2014

So… I wanted to make rice and chili for dinner. Since my brother in law is with us, was going to double the usual amount, and use TWO cups of dry rice. Easy, right?

i got the trusty two cup measuring cup, and twice measured out two cups of water. Set that to boil.

You know what would be nice? A bit of celery in the rice. True, it would be nicer to have a mirepoix, but I didn’t have carrots and onions. I really should shop better. I have the skill and knowledge to have better food. 2015 I will definitely do better at cooking.

Chopped celery in boiling water. Add some garlic and herbs. Time to add rice. Let’s see, the two cup measuring cup is wet. Don’t wanna use the one cup measuring cup…because would have to measure twice, and who has time for that?!?

ah…the four cup measuring cup. Fill that up. Add FOUR carefully measured cups of rice.

back to TheFacebook

(30 minutes)

that’s weird…why is the rice crunchy???




Basketball games

27 December, 2014

My Father-in-law is too kind to me, and had NBA games on the main TV all Christmas Day.

  • Wizards – Knicks…. Oh the mess that is the NY Knickerbockers. Why did Phil Jackson that the job as president ? Did he look at the roster, did he notice the bloated payroll? Why did he pick a rookie coach?
  • Thunder – Spurs…. Spurs missing Kawhi, Thundering missing Durant.
  • Cavs – Heat … Caves are still getting to know each other, while Heat have basically been together four years. What? Bosh didn’t play. Hmmm…Heat still pretty good.
  • Lakers – Bulls… Kobe sat out, because “I’m old “. Team did alright… Well, not really.
  • Warriors – Clippers….Father In Law joked, five years ago who would’ve thought we would want to see these two teams. This was a fun game to watch. MsS asked who I wanted to win. I huts wanted a close game…it was until the end.

Boxing Day

Rockets v Grizzlies… MrG’s favorite team is the Rockets, because James Harden is his favorite player. I’m partial to Griz, because I like Zebo and Gasol.  But Josh Smith… Talented, not thriving with previous team, maybe he’ll work out for Rockets. I hope so.

NBA All Star Game 2015

26 December, 2014

Tonight, MrGrunty was excited to learn that he can vote for the NBA All-Stars.

he voted for

  • James Harden, his favorite player
  • Josh Smith, just added to Houston Rockets
  • Dwight Howard…Rockets
  • Damian Lillard…not sure why
  • Russel Westbrook …his second favorite player


25 December, 2014

MrG got a set of nine Hot Wheels for MrC…when opened, MrC was running around screaming. We think he likes it.

MsS got a table tennis set for MrG…he spent the evening seeing how many times he could bounce the ping pong ball on the paddle.  His record was 56.

MsS got an AmericanGirl doll from me and MyBetterHalf. MsS told me about four times today that she loves it.

Me and MrG went for a nice long walk.

Me and MrC put together a Lego fire truck.

Me and MsS played with her American Girl doll.


Christmas Eve

24 December, 2014

The childrens keep saying they can’t wait for tomorrow. I don’t know if they were serious, but at 6:50 tonight MrGrunty and MsSqueaky said ” let’s go to bed.”

This evening we went to a church for Xmas Eve service. I really like the lighting of candles, the childrens have gotten good at holding the candles straight, and singing “Silent Night”

We opened our Xmas eve presents… PJs!!!



Sermon notes

23 December, 2014

Recent sermons…and if I misunderstood my pastor, I’m sorry.

So…how we got the Bible… The children of Israel were people of the Temple, but when taken into captivity, they no longer could go to temple, so, to cling to who they were, to keep their identity, the became “people of the book” collecting all the things they had written, the laws, poems, stories, genealogies.

Speaking of those genealogies….there’s something a bit unusual aboot the genealogy of Jesus in Matthew. Five women are mentioned. All experienced great personal tragedy. Likely four of them were not Isrealites.

Also…untypical… The shepards, were dregs of society. (I read a book once about reading Bible through history of agriculture lens.) The dregs got the Good News.

And…I like the juxposition of Jesus… Shepard (dregs of society) and King.

(BTW…been thinking aboot this a while, King David raped Bathsheba. He had so much power, she didn’t have any choice in the matter. How powerful was David? so much that God’s prophet -who David revered- was afraid to call the king out for his sin, having to approach with a parable. Last Sunday, first time I heard from pulpit that Bathsheba was raped. In my youth I had a Bible class teacher ask, what was she doing taking a bath where David could see her. Blaming the victim. A friend said once “I have every right to walk naked and drunk down an alleyway safely.”)

Rondo part 2

22 December, 2014

I am happy for Mr Rajon Rondo being traded to Dallas. I predict that using this seasons stats, comparing before and after the trade…

Rondo’s shooting percent will increase.
Dallas’ defense will improve.

Football in Seattle

21 December, 2014

It’s kinda cool with the Seahawks being good…I got some nice quiet Xmas shopping done during the first half of the game. The stores were quiet.

Got home, and watched a fun filled win with friends that MyBetterHalf had invited over.

MrG watched almost the whole game. The other kids would come out to cheer when they heard us yelling aboot something good.

How I spent my summer vacation

20 December, 2014

My summer vacation week….

(Due to logistics, MyBetterHalf & I had to take different weeks as vacation.)

Monday, July 21st

We started slowly…MrG & MsS were sitting on the sofa playing Go-Fish, MrC was sleeping. Later, they built a fort with blankets and hid from me. We eventually got to the zoo. Then off to a Kindergarten Boot-camp for MrCuddles.

Tuesday, July 22nd

We went to Kayak Point Campground. Just me & three childrens for “real” camping. I forgot a mallet, when I told them, MsS suggested I use a rock to pound the tent pegs into the ground. They helped put up the tent, that backyard practicing came in handy. We wandered down to the beach, mostly MsS & MrC played house on the logs whilst MrG threw rocks into the water. And, even though I brought matches, they were too old to light. So, I went to a neighbor with a handful of long-stick matches and got some flames to start our fire. (I was happy that I didn’t need to go back and ask for more flames. Yay, successful fire building.)

Wednesday, July 23rd

I woke at 5AM, because of heavy rain on the tent. Woo-hoo, the inside stayed dry! Then thunder and lightning at 6AM. After a bit, there was a short break in the rain… the childrens got in the car, we packed up, and were on the road before the rains returned. We stopped at a truck stop for breakfast. Now, I remember as a kid one of my parents told me that you want to eat at truck stops, because truckers will avoid the bad places. Yeah…not so much. MrG freaked out that the French toast wasn’t the way he liked it. (There was too much butter) I tried to explain that different places cook different ways, and that was part of vacation. MrCuddles fell in love with the suit of armor that was next to our booth.

Back home…then… downtown Seattle day! Fire Truck Museum (they didn’t care for, but liked the fire fighter hats they got), Klondike Gold Rush Museum (they liked), Waterfall park, Police Museum (they enjoyed dressing up). Then dinner…and…MrG threw a fit because his sandwich was disgusting (too much marinara on the meatball sandwich). Then rush to KinderBootCamp.

Thursday, July 24th

Zoo again… drizzling…they went into the Kids Area…and I lost them in 10 seconds. There was a huge “tree” they kept climbing in. All three in different directions. Then we went to a games store, and they each got a game… MrCuddles “Sequence” (a USA map game), MrGrunty an AngryBirds game, MsSqueaky “Splat” a card game.

Then, baseball practice for MrG. He needs to be on a better team. He and his friend Alex were way better than the rest of the kids.

Friday, July 25th

We were off north to go to…I forget where we were going…because the Kid-mobile overheated about 20 miles north. So, we had to take side streets back home, stopping every now and then. Then spent the last part of my last day of vacation at car dealer getting a loaner.

But…the weekend… Saturday, July 26th…camping with dads at Camp Long in West Seattle. We had a cabin, three bunkbeds… four dads, seven kids… Quote of the Sunday morning, one of the dads said, “I think I got some pretty good sleep between 3 and 6 this morning.” The kids had so much fun. MrG was playing throw and catch with his friends. MsS made a new friend from a different campsite. MrC was happy to be hanging out with the big kids. There was a huge climbing rock, which had nice concrete base for a kid to land on…the kids loved climbing it. The dads hated the climbing rock.

And that’s how I spent my summer vacation.

Drumming with the choir

18 December, 2014

So…a while ago… maybe August of 2013… I was approached by our choir director at church, she said “I hear you are a percussionist”, and invited me to join the choir’s performance of “Our God Gives Us a Future with Hope”. And, as a good teacher does, Kathy nodded and listened as I explained how completely unqualified I was. She then handed me the music and said, “we meet on Thursday nights”. At the first rehearsal I told her, “don’t be afraid to fire me at any time…or tell me it would sound better if I was in the parking lot.” She told me not to worry.

I like our choir director/music director. The impression that I got from her is if you want to help the worship team, or if you have music you want to perform for the church, you can, just do your best. When I mentioned this to her in a book club, she said, “we all have to start somewhere.” I got to know her more in book club…and she got to know me more, because I sent many a crazy / tangent emails at 2AM to the book club. (The book was about Christian worship.)

Working with her is great. I really enjoyed it. At rehearsals I would say stuff like, “All I know is that God gave me two eyes, one to look at the music, and one to look at the conductor.” I tried my best to take the gig seriously. But, you know me, get nervous, make a joke. I got myself psyched up for it by posting different videos of drummers each day on TheFacebook for “40 days of drumming” . (No, I didn’t get 40 posts) yeah…I should have been practicing…but…youtube!

I did actually practice. I wrote out drum parts for the three parts of the song. I played along with audio, with metronome… I studied the music. I think I was almost ready.

We had two gigs for that song. First, on a Sunday morning, it went well. Second, at an ecumenical choir concert fundraiser …I looked out, there were at least three hundred in the audience. Of course right before we were to sing, I looked out, a negative thought tried to pop into my dead…but I just took a deep breath, looked at Kathy, we smiled. And we began. If I messed up, I did not let it bother me. I was living in the now.

Later…having lots of fun and a bit of success with the choir performance, I said “yes” when I was invited to play djembe with song-leading team. Especially since they were playing one of my favorite songs: “10,000 Reasons”. I did horrible. I didn’t study enough, there was a bar of 2/4 tossed in THAT I NEVER NOTICED until after when I was looking at the music!!!

…in case you were wondering who I included in 40-days-of-drumming…

· Larry Wright on buckets

· Alex Van Halen

· Ringo Starr

· Taiko drum group

· Stewart Copeland …I love his high hat work, tiny cymbals, quick sharp fills, very subtle

· Elvis Costello’s “Watching the Detectives” …nothing subtle aboot these drums, doesn’t sound like the rest of the album…I suspect the drummer snuck into the mix booth when the rest of the band went home.

· RedHotChiliPeppers “Breaking the Girl” …6/8 time rocks… how do you make your mark as a drummer when Flea is the bassist? By banging on a trash can!

· Aron Copland’s “Fanfare for the Common Man”

· Max Roach…just playing a Hi-Hat. I saw Mr. Roach once…he started off with a slow song. Well, he’s old, can’t move like he used to… still great… next song…BOOM! Crashing cymbols, drum roll, rat-a-tat-tat!!!! a fast bebop number. The lesson I learned. “Fast” isn’t an absolute beats-per-minute it’s a change of tempo.

· A bit where Bill Cosby talks aboot playing drums.

· Foo Fighters “Everlong”

· Beastie Boys “Bodhisattva Vow” …love the sampled in Tibetan chant with the big drums, chaotic cymbals and bells…

· Faith No More…”Smaller & Smaller” …they sampled in some Navajo chant…it rocked…I have a CD of Navajo chanting, it has like 30 tracks. They all sound the same to me. ( much like Metallica and Guns & Roses sound the same to one of my co-workers ) But here’s the thing. I was told in ethno-music class, ( 25 yrs ago, so my memory is a bit hazy ), that often in Navaho chant the drums in the vocals are slightly different BPM, consistently throughout the performance. ( try it sometime…listen to two songs, at the beat to one whilst singing the other! )

· Beatles “Love You To” … has tabla …this song is probably why I took ethnomusicology in college.